Dick Gephardt's presidential bid is sputtering. Missouri's favorite son is trying desperately to carve a position for himself among nine or so Democratic presidential hopefuls but thus far, Gephardt's name is usually found around the middle of the crowded field. He is hanging much of his hopes on a strong showing in the early Iowa caucus process since he has fairly strong support in our neighboring state.
But on Wednesday, Gephardt took what he hopes is a major step toward elevating his position in the presidential sweepstakes. The Missouri Congressman announced the endorsements of 30 House colleagues and he is hoping against hope that this core of Democratic faithful will bring others into his tent.
Dick, don't count on it.
Heading the list of Gephardt supporters is none other than California's ultra-liberal minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi is so far left of the party's mainstream that she could almost make Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton seem conservative. If Gephardt thinks a Pelosi endorsement will somehow advance his position, he's wrong.
Dick Gephardt clearly no longer represents the majority sentiments of Missouri voters. His record is much more attuned to the East Coast cronies that he courts. His only saving grace as of late was his support for the Iraq war while others in his party were sowing the seeds of opposition.
Had Gephardt truly wanted to gain traction for his presidential bid, he would have released a list of 200 House supporters who represented the full spectrum of American thought. But unable to generate that support given his shaky start, he opted instead to go with what he could. Unfortunately for the St. Louis Congressman, that support was lukewarm at best.
Dick Gephardt is undoubtedly a good man with good intentions. But his day in the sun has come and gone. He won't embarrass the state of Missouri in the coming year but he also won't represent the majority voice of Missourians as he crisscrosses the nation looking for votes.
If a Pelosi endorsement is the best ammunition Gephardt can muster to raise his profile, it's just a matter of time before the fat lady starts to sing. You can almost hear her warming up already!